For several years now, I have wanted to hike up to Hanging Lake, just east of Glenwood Springs, Co. You start by hiking a quarter mile east of the Hanging Lake rest area, right along the Colorado River. So far, so good...
Then the trail turns away from the river, and goes straight up hill! It's short, only 1.2 miles, but the rise is 1020 feet. That's pretty steep. The first part is really rocky.
Up the hill a ways is the remains of where resort horses where tied decades ago while guests would hike up to the lake.
This is what most of the trail looks like. You have to pay attention to where you are walking - it's still very rocky.
Looking back down the valley that we climbed up.
Near the top, it gets REALLY steep, but there are handrails that you can use to pull yourself up.
But then, WOW! You go around the corner and there it is! Hanging Lake was formed by a geologic fault which caused the lake bed to drop away from the valley floor above.
Whoa! Wait - butterflies and flowers!
Phil went over and crawled underneath the waterfall on the right side.
The classic view!
There's a long dead tree trunk that goes across the lake. Everyone goes out on it to get their picture taken. I was a little nervous, but managed to get out there a little ways.
A short side trail goes up to Spouting Rock. A small underground stream has found a hole in the rock to flow from.
The view from the back side...
You can also get good views of Hanging Lake from the top.
And you can see more people walking out on the old dead tree.
From here, it's all downhill, but for me, going down is just as difficult as going up. But it was a great hike!